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Favorite Winter Grub

Recipes for a Russian Winter Holiday 120th Birthday Party - Adam Quinan
Favourite Winter Grub
             Micheal Bloomberg
             Doug Essinger-Hileman
             Gregg Germain
             Kyle Lerfald
             Ray Martin
             Marian Van Til
Winter Grilling - Louis Cohen
Winter Roasting - Lois

Recipes for a Russian Winter Holiday 120th Birthday Party - Adam Quinan
I developed these two hotpot recipes based on the vague descriptions of two versions of the hotpot given in Chapter 6 "Snow" of Arthur Ransome's Winter Holiday. A true Lancashire hotpot, which is what I suspect the Lake Bottom hotpot should be, would probably not contain carrots but would contain other ingredients, traditionally lamb's kidneys or oysters.
However, I decided that I would make the two versions using similar ingredients. These were both served at the TARSCanada Arthur Ransome's Russian Winter Holiday and 120th Birthday Party on January 10th 2004 to a party of TARS members who were skating on Mel Lastman Square tarn in North York, Ontario and much appreciated in the -13 deg C temperature.

Igloo Hot Pot (serves 8 Arctic explorers and one Eskimo) prepared by two ships' mates in an Igloo
In a good size pot, layer
One can corned beef (bully beef from South America, not North American corned beef), cubed
One onion, cut into slices
Eight medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
Three medium carrots, sliced in pennies
Add about one pint (2 cups) of melted snow
Add salt, pepper and/or bouillon cube to taste
Cover and simmer gently over wood fire in the igloo until the potatoes are soft (about 45 - 60 minutes)
You will find the corned beef disintegrates into something like a thick soup with minced beef. Serve in bowls or mugs, share forks to pick up the bigger pieces of potato.

Lake Bottom Hotpot (Should serve a skating party, but in the book feeds the fish)
Two lb. of stewing lamb
Two onions, sliced thinly
Ten medium/large potatoes sliced thinly
Five medium/large carrots, sliced (or lamb's kidneys or oysters)
Brown lamb in oil or butter and set aside
In a large pot, layer ingredients, potatoes, onions, carrots and meat in a oven proof pot
Season each layer with a little black pepper, salt and mixed herbs
Add about two pints (4 cups) of meat stock
Cover and cook in a moderate oven 325oF oven for about 2 hours or until meat is tender, Remove cover for the last half hour to allow potatoes to brown on top.
Wrap up and take out on to a frozen tarn in a basket, leave the hotpot on the ice for a few minutes while you unpack the rest of the basket. Enjoy the smell left behind and the perfectly symmetrical round hole in the ice...
Luckily Mel Lastman Square tarn is not very deep, so the pot couldn't melt through the ice and disappear.

Favourite Winter Grub
Micheal Bloomberg
Sauerkraut Soup served with a nice black rye bread and really old cheddar on a cold winter evening, now that is living.
It is kind of interesting how what was peasant food has become comfort food.

Doug Essinger-Hileman
I am already imagining the joys this midwinter of enjoying a meal of some sort of soup accompanied by a chunk of bread and a glass of beer. Hearty lentil soup, pumpernickle bread and stout have always been a favorite of mine. I also like a ham and bean soup, rye bread and a robust ale. Oh my, the choices are endless.

Gregg Germain
Cream of pheasant soup with a healthy dollop of sherry....
1/2 pheasant on polenta with fresh asparagus.....
Nothing ever beat that meal....

Kyle Lerfald
Ah yes - Autumn and Winter Food!
Lasagna with a rich tomato and ricotta cheese stuffing, with a hint of anise and italian sausage, served with bowls of warm olives and crusty, fresh baguette and a glass or two of a Sicilian red...
Comfortable old roast beef with garlic and herb roasted spuds, or mashed, with gravy, fresh corn, and the last of the green beans (slivered ginger and a touch of oil), and vanilla ice cream for dessert...
And the left-over beef for stew!
Cassoulet, bugogi, hot dish (hey, I am from Minnesota, after all) good rich earthy foods....There are days when I dream I could chuck it all and become a food writer, but alas, alas, it is not to be!

Ray Martin
And steak and kidney pudding has a suet pastry crust, not to mention good old suet dumplings. The former quite heavy, the latter, surprisingly light; but both glorious winter grub.

Marian Van Til
How about meat loaf, zucchini with braised onions and Italian spices, scalloped potatoes laden with browned cheddar cheese, and baked apples spiked with red wine, cloves, cinnamon and a hint of brown sugar. That's glorious fall and winter grub!

Winter Grilling - Louis Cohen
Last night at the Berkeley Sur La Table ( I went to a demonstration of winter grilling by Kerry Heffernan, chef/owner of Autumn Moon. While I barbecue (that is, cook low and slow with charcoal and wood smoke) as well as anyone around, I can't grill (cook hot and fast with direct fire) for crap.
The demo was full of useful tips about handling and using oil-based vs water-based herbs (don't chop parsley and cilantro too much, and use them right away; rosemary/thyme/oregano etc. continue to spread their flavors in long cooked dishes), the power of marinating for even a short time (say 1/2 hr), and not to marinate too long, or add the acid to marinades until you're about to use it. Season the meat before it goes on the grill, salt just before.
Place meat (fish/chicken) on the grill show side down; turn and rotate 90 degrees; turn; turn and rotate 90 degrees; about equal time in each of the 4 positions - this cooks the meat evenly and creates the diamond-shaped grill marks.
Roast starchy veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, plantains (treat 'em like potatoes) in the oven until they are soft (basically cooked) and then slice and grill for texture and to carmelize.
Citrus is best in Jan/Feb - this time of year, use a lot of citrus marinades with everything except beef. She even grilled some orange slices. In the grill basket, layer sand dab fillets with citrus slices so that they don't move around.
The shop that hosted the demo provided a '99 Domaine St Luc Conteaux du Tricastin, a Cote-du-Rhone for drinking during the show and with the tasting. French Swill. But the in-store demo area is great with an angled mirror over the prep area and a video camera (and two monitors) over the range.
The veggies and boneless chicken breasts where grilled on cast-iron grills placed above the range burners; the pork chops, lamb, rib eyes, and Pacific swordfish were grilled outside on a gas grill.

Winter Roasting - Lois
We're big fans of a nice big roasted brisket, with potatoes, onions, carrots around it, cooked a really long time, which can last the two of us for a week or more of meals, with the remainders forming the base of a big pot of lentil soup. That's in the winter, of course.
One way to go is to get a big, yes with a little fat, brisket, make some slits in it here and there, into which you push slices of fresh garlic, sit it on a bed of sliced onions plus a bay leaf, and cover the whole thing with salt and pepper and then top it with a mash of chopped up garlic, carrots, celery and garlic, sometimes adding whole peppercorns. That all goes into the oven in a covered roaster, and stays there a very long time, first at a low temp, maybe 300 or a little more (if there's any burning, add a little water), and then at a really low temp, closer to 250 or less. At some point, I put in big chunks of potatoes and onions and carrots to eat. It's ready after 3 or 4 hours, or you can just keep cooking it, even leave it in the warm oven overnight. Before serving you can heat it high to brown the potatoes.
I think a mush of hashed veggies would be good to add to the crockpot. The onions and pan juices blend into a good gravy, that you don't need flour for. I have a hand-held stick blender to do that with.